Thanks for Taking a Stand, Nike

By kneeling, Colin Kaepernick sought to take a stand against inequality and injustice.

By supporting him and featuring him in their latest ads, Nike took a stand as well.

We think that’s a good thing.

You probably won’t hear other banks or financial firms saying that, so why is Aspiration speaking up where others are silent?

It’s because we’re a different kind of financial firm.

We believe companies have an important social role to play. Their values matter. Their actions matter.

All of us can Do Well and Do Good at the same time.

It’s a philosophy that drives a lot of what we do here at Aspiration.

It’s why Aspiration donates 10% of what our customers choose to pay us to charities that provide microloans to lower-income Americans, so they can build a better life for themselves and their families.

It’s why - unlike Big Banks - we won’t use our customers’ deposits or investments to finance destructive big fossil fuel projects or firearms manufacturers.

And it’s why we built the Aspiration Impact Measurement (AIM) tool, which uses thousands of data points to score companies from 0-100 based on how well they treat people and the planet.

Simply put, we allow Aspiration customers to spend with companies that match their values.

To achieve a good score, companies must consistently act according to values of fairness, sustainability, diversity, equality, and inclusion.

So as we looked at Nike’s decision to support Colin Kaepernick, we were curious: was this an isolated event, or part of a pattern of Nike taking a stand for society and for the environment?

It appears to be the latter: Nike currently has an impressive AIM Score of 85!

That puts them in the top 10% of all AIM-rated companies.

How did they get there? Let’s take a look at some of the important actions they’ve taken:

2012: Nike launches Sustainable Manufacturing and Sourcing Index, weighing environmental and human resource performance equally with business metrics in factory sourcing (1)

2015: Nike pledges to use 100% renewable energy in all owned or operated facilities globally by 2025 (2)

2016: Nike publicly discloses employee diversity stats—a majority of its U.S. workforce is made up of racial and ethnic minorities (3)

April 2018: Nike publicly discloses data on women and people of color at the VP level, invests in a diversity sourcing team, and improves inclusivity training for managers (4)

August 2018: Nike ranks among top 10% of AIM-rated companies

September 2018: Nike features Colin Kaepernick in ads celebrating 30th anniversary of “Just Do It” slogan

That’s not to say there isn’t more Nike can do.

Since you might be wondering, Adidas has an AIM Score of 88. And while Nike’s products use 71% recyclable materials, Adidas is planning to use 100% recycled plastic in all their clothes and shoes by 2024.(5)

But no company is perfect, and real actions taken with the goal of driving more social justice and environmental sustainability deserve to be recognized.

That’s why we built AIM -- to help people make decisions that reflect their values and support companies that are trying to make the world a better place.

And it’s why we applaud Nike for taking a stand. We hope all of corporate America will take this to heart: don’t be afraid to take your own stand for a better world -- “Just Do It!”

(A note for Aspiration Summit Account holders: check the scores of businesses as you shop, look for alternatives, and keep track of your own personal AIM Score by using your Aspiration debit card. Learn more here.)